Immigration Reform: Don’t Forget the Children

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

By Katherine Doble-Cannata, Los Tweens


As the debate over immigration reform develops, one segment of the immigrant population has been significantly missing from the conversation: the children.  Unaccompanied children risk the long journey to the United States to escape abuse, violence, exploitation, and in hopes to reunite with family members.  But once they reach they U.S., they face the challenge of navigating a confusing legal system alone.

‘No’ right to a government paid attorney is granted in immigration courts. If a private-sector attorney isn’t hired by a family member or a non-profit organization steps in, immigrant children are forced to face a judge alone.  A Vera Institute of Justice study suggests that as many as 40% of unaccompanied minors qualify for some kind of legal status, but without legal representation they have little hope.

In 2012, almost 14,000 undocumented children were held in government custody and the federal government is expecting a 30% increase in 2013.  Children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are leaving their countries at a faster rate than all others.  Preliminary reports attribute this to increasingly violent gangs and drug traffickers that actively recruit children.

This worries organizations that provide unaccompanied minors with legal representation.  “Non-profits just don’t have the resources,” said Aidil Oscariz, attorney for the Children’s Legal Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice.  “The number of children requiring representation continues to increase at a pace that far exceeds the funding.”

Advocates point to comprehensive immigration reform as a possible solution.  “We’ve been advocating at the White House and Senate to ensure that unaccompanied minors are on the radar screen,” said Megan McKenna, Communications and Advocacy Director of KIND (Kids in Need of Defense).

KIND and American’s for Immigrant Justice are two of more than 200 child, immigration, religious, academic and civil organizations that co-released a list of guiding principles for children in immigration reform to D.C. decision makers this week.  Among the recommendations was a request that unaccompanied minors receive legal representation and are assigned independent child advocates.

Without provisions for unaccompanied immigrant children, immigration reform will fall short.  “Some children may benefit if their parents are given a path to citizenship but not the children who are here alone,” said Michelle Abarca, Supervising Attorney of the Americans for Immigrant Justice Children’s Program.

Our Los Tweens Publishing team firmly believes that we must support all of our children, including the undocumented or unrepresented so they can positively contribute to our society in the years to come. If you’re an organization that supports legal causes or are helping drive the immigration debate from a child advocacy angle, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We welcome sharing content that supports all Los Tweens and Teens.




More to explore...

4 thoughts on “Immigration Reform: Don’t Forget the Children

  1. I worry about the effects that deportation of parents will have on children that stay behind, and on what psychological, emotional issues unaccompanied minors will have to deal with as they grow up.
    Laws and punishment for all human traffickers should be the harshest possible!
    Also, if our immigration laws were better, people wouldn’t feel like their only option was to be smuggled in.
    Thank you for shedding light and reminding us about these children

  2. Your Dayz hack into challenge

    DayZ is a video game that will received the opposite regarding humble
    beginnings. That started off like a aspect venture for any game creator
    branded Dean Hallway who was implementing a new mod for your less than common online game ARMA 3.
    This mod easily became popular in addition to inside 2 or 3 weeks
    had millions of participants. Since then all kinds
    of other sport designers took an attempt on the Dayz mod, making a variety
    of type similar to: Dayz Beginning and Dayz Epoch.
    Your mod actually received it’s individual ripoff type
    such as the well known Struggle Unces malfunction in which triggered a great deal hot debate.

    Considering that the commence Dayz acquired problems with hacks.
    Within the very first month or so on the mods introduction DayZ hackers got more than machines with
    electrical power like nuclear bombs along with to be able to produce a big foundation called
    the Thunderdome, during which players will be teleported along with forced to be able to
    struggle. They are are just some of the particular degrees
    of this Dayz hackers of which caused numerous gamers to stop.

    Dayz Standalone hacks are only while awful. The game has been being affected by
    hacks given that it’s pre-alpha discharge a couple of months again. At this time they’ve got
    no anti-hack recognition method which can be
    triggering cyber criminals to operate outdoors.

    The Dayz staff are already superior in patching this makes use of in contrast to the
    actual mod, however it many seems a touch too later.

    Lately Bohemia Interactive validated that will cyberpunks
    pennyless in the hosting space in addition to borrowed the particular game titles full origin code.
    This is a large deal pertaining to DayZ Standalone, it means cyber-terrorist
    can understand just about every exploit inside sport that they uses to
    their edge. The cyberpunks and then placed their own reward about
    Reddit, displaying their loot to be a boasting appropriate.

  3. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this matter to be really something which I think I might never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m taking a look ahead on your subsequent put up, I will
    attempt to get the dangle of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

join the family

Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive the latest Los Tweens & Teens news!